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Do not waste your time!!! Austin Competitive Consulting is nothing more than a PYRAMID SCHEME filled
7th of Feb, 2010 by User173105
Do not waste your time!!! Austin Competitive Consulting is nothing more than a PYRAMID SCHEME filled with false hopes and empty promises. Take it from me, a past employee, average monthly pay came out to around $1000 for a 50-60 hour work week. It's commissioned based pay and all driving expenses are out of pocket and are not compensated, meaning you make on average $4.75 per hour. You will make more working at a fast food restaurant. The least I can do is warn others to not make the same mistake I did and waste their time with this terrible corporation. For a first hand account please see below* God bless and happy job hunting, -Karma Here is my story.... I first applied to a posting by ACC under the pretense that it was an advertising/marketing position - as it was entitled "Ad/Marketing Management". Upon interviewing I thought it strange that it was in fact a door-to-door sales position, with an undisclosed amount of travel required. To elaborate, each employee is given a specific territory to target. Territories can range from Temple to San Antonio with Austin acting as your "home-base" of operations. I also found it strange that all but 5 employees were "new hires", and were either fresh out of college or brand new to Austin with absolutely no knowledge of the company or its practices. This is heavily based on the fact that their website, though accessible, purposely provides little to no info, let alone a company description. Feel free to check out their website at It is about as ambiguous as they come. This is specifically formulated to get new hires into the office with as little company info as possible. Once "inside", potential employees are given a cookie-cutter job description that is filled with the promise of growth potential. 2nd round interviews involve "shadowing" one of the five "account managers" throughout their typical work day routine, and last the entire work day (typically 8am-6:30pm). It is also on this interview that potential "new hires" are given a run down of their pay scale. This part is as ambiguous as the website. First thing to be noted is that you do not receive your first paycheck until the beginning of your 4th full week with the company, and "provided" health benefits do not come into effect until after your first 3 months of employment. There is a base pay provided for the first two weeks of training ($300 the first week/ $200 the second) with a graduated commission rate starting at 10%. After your 2nd full week, pay is completely commission based at 28%. Most ambiguous is the description of company "bonuses", which are to be added to an employee's pay following certain sales and performance goals. What is not widely stated is the bonus' reliance on company "sales retention", which is on a staggered payout system. To clarify - the bonuses reflected in your next paycheck are based on the company's retention percentage of approximately 5 weeks prior. What this creates is a situation where some one brand new to the job is forced to forfeit all bonuses (equivalent to approximately half of one's paycheck) to no fault of his/her own. This penalty applies to every pay cycle until the retention percentage is revived. As a result, $250 paychecks reflecting a 50-60 hour work week became commonplace. This paycheck would also fail to represent money spent out-of-pocket on gas to and fro each assigned territory. Also to be noted *** -Their sign-on contract is arranged so, that in the event of early job departure/termination [not prior to 25 days from start-date], an employee forfeits all rewarded pay up until this point. As mentioned earlier, their business thrives on the constant arrival of new "entry-levels" - Austin-CC has a turn over-rate easily over 85%, meaning as fast as new employees are coming in, old "new hires" are leaving, typically without a single paycheck. In some cases, a new employee would work long enough to receive his/her's first paycheck (3 full weeks) but not long enough to fulfill their 25 day sign-on obligation. In these cases Austin-CC will actually bill you in the amount of your total paycheck(s) and pursue payment!!! Outrageous to say the very least. As an employee of Austin Competitive Consulting I was told on numerous occasions by several managers and even the owner himself that I would be compensated for gas and repairs in the amount of $.50/mile driven. This was to be "claimed on your taxes and and easily refundable". Given this info I retained and filed EVERY receipt. Within my first month I had driven over 1,200 miles - with this remaining my average per month. Come tax time I was mailed my "W-2", went to file - complete with itemized expenditures and receipts, and was denied the ability to claim any of it. Due to the fact that my scale of pay was so poor, I did not meet the salary requirements to declare any work deductibles, therefore leaving me with nearly 5000 miles in unresolved gas receipts. Not to mention all bonuses withheld from me to no fault of my own (All but 2 of my paychecks included bonuses - the first and the last). I am furious. My main purpose for submitting this complaint is not to retrieve the time and money taken from me during the duration of my employment, but to bring to light a serious case of on-going employee abuse and exploitation. I would hate to think that countless numbers of new graduates and/or new Austin residents are being suckered into the same pyramid-scheme ploy at a time when job are so hard to find. I watched as countless numbers of "new hires" wasted weeks at ACC trying to make sense of all the empty promises, only to quit without even a paycheck to show for it! This is time that could have been spent pursuing legitimate employment. Austin Competitive Consulting uses their BBB rating of "A" to hook more perspective employees and customers. You can find poor ratings and reviews on various websites including ripoffreport, YELP, and yahoo. After being promoted to an "account leader" I was told on countless occasions not to answer specific compensation-related questions and how to provide ambiguous answers. You cannot have a perfect rating and not be honest with your employees. How they have an "A" rating is beyond me - but I refuse to accept it.

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